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ERIC Number: EJ898336
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2719
Goals 2000 and the Standards Movement
Schwartz, Robert B.; Robinson, Marian A.
Brookings Papers on Education Policy, p173-214 2000
The Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the centerpiece of the Clinton administration's education reform program, provides a fascinating case study of the challenges facing an activist administration in trying to craft federal legislation that can provide national direction and leadership in a highly decentralized education system. Goals 2000 represented a very different federal strategy than ever seen before. Despite the relative modesty of its funding, especially when judged against large categorical programs such as Title I, it was audacious not only in proposing to use federal funds to leverage whole system reforms at the state level, but also in creating new national structures to guide the states toward a national strategy. In this paper, the authors evaluate the effects of the Goals 2000 program, which was first authorized in 1994. They review the available data about how Goals 2000 funds have been used by states and localities as well as the evidence about impact. Although it is difficult to isolate the effects of this particular federal program from ongoing state activities, the authors conclude that Goals 2000 has made a genuine contribution by encouraging states to set academic standards and by infusing the language of standards into other federal programs as well. They describe the continuity of purpose from the Bush administration's America 2000 program to the Clinton administration's Goals 2000 program but note the erosion of political support among members of both parties in Congress around these issues. The authors' principal interest is in examining the lessons to be learned from the demise of the nationalizing aspects embodied in Title II of the act, for that story might help bring an understanding of under what conditions, if any, federal policy can bring about a more coherent national strategy for improving the performance of America's schools and students. Comments by Michael W. Kirst and David L. Kirp are included. (Contains 51 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Goals 2000